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HHVM Blog:
Implementing MySQLi
February 27, 2014 @ 11:15:39

On the HHVM blog today a new post talks about some of the work they've been doing to introduce one of the common PHP extensions, MySQLi, into the HHVM system. The post walks you through some of the process the author followed to work up the implementation.

To prepare for what was to be my big project, I rewrote the ini parser to better match Zend. [...] After warming up with the parser, I was ready to start my big project: implement MySQLi. This has been a long requested feature for HHVM. And, this extension is required to help meet our compatibility goals.

He walks you through some of the preparation steps for the work integrating the extension and the tools used for these initial steps. He briefly steps through the actual implementation and the testing of the feature (and some changes made to allow the tests to run faster). He mentions a few roadblocks hit along the way, the current status of the effort (182 passing tests, 114 failing) and some of the missing pieces yet to be worked.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3689/implementing-mysqli

HHVM Blog:
HHVM The Next Six Months
February 26, 2014 @ 11:09:35

In their latest post the HHVM project (of Facebook) has laid out the next six months ahead for the development and progression on the project. In it they talk some about their "themes" and overall Open Source goals planned for the first part of 2014.

The HHVM team has just wrapped up its planning for the first half of 2014. We'd like to share our plans, providing you a bit of context. We've been making steady progress on HHVM's compatibility with PHP in the wild, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We're using unit test pass rates as a proxy for success measurement, but you can help by adding HHVM to your Travis configuration, and reporting bugs and issues through GitHub. We are resourced to help support a couple of major HHVM deployments, which we hope has the side effect of exposing us to "non-Facebook" deployment and maintenance challenges.

We are also going to push for a more open development model, with the goal of increasing our community participation. We'll have more to say on what this means later on. Stay tuned!

They also cover some of the work being done to increase the overall efficiency, reducing CPU time and memory consumption. There's also mention of work being done on a guide to "hacking" in the HHVM, reducing some complexity in the compiler and the conversion to a full HNI extension interface.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3743/hhvm-the-next-six-months

Community News:
PuPHPet Adds Support for HHVM
February 21, 2014 @ 09:36:36

Juan Treminio passed along a note about his GUI-based virtual machine builder PuPHPet and some recent advancements in what it supports.

PuPHPet just added support for HHVM via FastCGI for Apache/Nginx and needs your help to create a VM and report any bugs encountered to make the experience as smooth as possible.

PuPHPet makes creating Vagrant/Puppet configurations much simpler and does a lot of the hard work for you. The project is also open sourced on GitHub so you can always add support for anything you might not see.

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Link: https://puphpet.com/

Allan MacGregor:
Magento and HHVM
February 18, 2014 @ 09:12:59

Allan MacGregor has a new post sharing some of his research into getting Magento working on the HHVM (the HipHop VM) and some of the benchmarks of the results.

Magento is (in)famous for its performance, specially when scaling to a large numbers products, transactions or even catalog rules, seasoned Magento developers have probably hit at least one of this performance bottle necks more than once. [...] And while all the optimizations help, in the end there is a major performance bottleneck that is not as easily surpassed and that is PHP performance, since PHP is an interpreted language there is price to pay in terms of speed of execution and overall performance.

He introduces the HHVM briefly for those not familiar with it and some of the work already in progress to make Magento cooperate. He walks you though a complete installation of both the HHVM, cloning it from GitHub, and configuring it with the settings needed for Magento to run correctly. Once the HHVM instance is started, he runs some tests with siege comparing the results from the built-in PHP web server versus the HHVM install.

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magento hhvm hiphop installation tutorial configuration

Link: http://coderoncode.com/2014/02/17/magento-hhvm.html

HipHop Virtual Machine Blog:
Nightly Packages
January 23, 2014 @ 09:19:10

On the HipHop Virtual Machine blog today they're announcing a new option for those that "just can't wait" to get the latest and greatest HHVM version - nightly packages.

If you just can't wait to get your hands on the latest HHVM code, but you don't want to spend the time to compile it, we have a present for you. Every midnight, we run a script that pulls whatever is in master, compiles it, does a sanity check, builds a package and sends it off to the repo. You can then use it by adding the HHVM repo normally and then installing the "hhvm-nightly" package instead of the "hhvm" package. The nightly package should work identically to the current 8 week release cycle package; it will just have all the most recent commits with much less of the testing and hardening (so beware).

The post also includes three examples of the commands to grab this nightly release (via dl.hhvm.com) and install the "hhvm-nightly" package.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3203/nightly-packages

HHVM Blog:
We are the 98.5% (and the 16%)
December 24, 2013 @ 10:25:21

On the Facebook HHVM (HipHop VM) blog there's a recent post sharing some of their progress towards parity with the PHP language inside the tool (and the results of their "three week lockdown").

On November 4th, the HHVM team went on a 3-week performance and parity lockdown. The lockdown officially ended on November 22th. Overall, this lockdown was a qualified success. [...] Going into lockdown, the team knew that awesome performance alone would not suffice in making HHVM a viable PHP runtime to be used out in the wild. It actually had to run real, existing PHP code reliably.

In the post they include some numbers from their testing, the pass/fail status of the unit test suites for several major PHP projects including Composer, Joomla, Laravel, Slim and phpMyAdmin (with an overall parity of 98.58%). They share the raw numbers of the results and describe some of the testing environment, including some "assumptions and caveats" about the process. They also contributed back fixes as a part of the work, putting pull requests out there for several projects. They finish the post with some of the performance numbers, noting that they passed their goal and made it to 16% for an instance of facebook.com.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/2813/we-are-the-98-5-and-the-16

HHVM Blog:
FasterCGI with HHVM
December 18, 2013 @ 09:19:35

On the HHVM blog today they've posted an announcement about a new feature of this already powerful environment to help broaden the user base - FastCGI support.

Today, we are happy to announce FastCGI support for HHVM. FastCGI is a popular protocol for communication between an application server (e.g. running your PHP code) and a webserver. With support for FastCGI, you will be able to run HHVM behind any popular web server (Apache, Nginx, Lighttpd, etc). The webserver is in charge of handling all the intricate details of the HTTP protocol. HHVM is in charge of what it does best, running PHP code blazingly fast.

The post goes on to talk about how it all works including how it enables an instance of HHVM to run between requests (and serving multiple requests in parallel). It uses asynchronous I/O and a separate set of worker threads to execute the code. The rest of the post shares the results of a few benchmarks and gives you a step-by-step guide to getting it up and running.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/1817/fastercgi-with-hhvm

Engine Yard Blog:
Alternative PHP Implementations
December 17, 2013 @ 11:45:09

On the Engine Yard blog they've posted a guest article from PHP community member Chris Hartjes about some of the alternative PHP implementations that are out and available to the community.

Many PHP developers have a very vague understanding of what is meant by a "runtime". It's a concept that is more common in other languages languages. At it's most basic level, it is the idea that you can have a specification for the behaviour of the language, and then you can write your own implementation of it. [...] A shocking fact: programming languages have bugs and are sometimes missing features that people desire. Alternative implementations are a great way for people to try and create a version of a language that meets their needs while hopefully remaining as backwards compatible as possible.

He talks about one of the major players in the "alternate PHP" realm right now - the HipHop Virtual Machine (or HHVM) from Facebook. The project looks to make PHP perform even better than it already does by compiling it down. Chris shares two reasons he thing they started the project - one being their own need for performance and the other being that it gives them the option of adding new features to the language they might need.

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Link: https://blog.engineyard.com/2013/alternative-php-implementations

Qandidate.com:
Debugging PHP applications with HHVM
October 30, 2013 @ 11:10:23

On the Qandidate.com blog there's a new post showing you an easy way to debug HHVM applications via the built-in debugging tool and it's command line interface. The HHVM is the virtual machine version of the HipHop compiler Facebook created to speed up PHP execution.

In the previous parts of this series we got you started with HHVM and showed how we could get the symfony standard edition running on HHVM. This time we will dive deeper into HHVM by using it to debug our application. For most people the easiest way of debugging a PHP application is to place var_dump() and die() statements all over the code. Another option is installing xdebug, which has gotten a lot easier nowadays due to IDE integrations.

To illustrate, they create a super simple PHP script and show how to start up the HHVM in debug mode. They introduce you to the commands you'll need to step through the script execution and locate the breakpoints where errors are happening. You can do things like print out the current values of variables, set conditional breakpoints and get a stack trace for the execution so far.

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Link: http://labs.qandidate.com/blog/2013/10/29/debugging-php-applications-with-hhvm/

Liip Blog:
HHVM with Symfony 2 looks amazing
October 29, 2013 @ 10:13:47

On the Liip blog today Christian Stocker shares some of the interesting results he's found when working with Symfony2 on the HipHop VM (based on Facebook's work around the HipHop version of optimized PHP). The project recently announced better framework support, so Christian thought he'd give it a try.

We're currently building a Symfony2 based application, which has pretty high performance requirements (but we can mostly achieve them with varnish), so I went and did some performance tests on that real-life app. [...] In short, the numbers were amazing. I also compared PHP 5.3 with APC against 5.5 with opcache, that alone gave some pretty decent improvements.

He talks about the configuration (hardware and software) he used for the testing and the Apache Bench tool to make the requests. He includes a few tables of the request/response result times comparing the HHVM, PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.5 for:

  • Requests per second, small response
  • Requests per second, middle response
  • Requests per second, large response
  • Median response time in ms, short response
  • Median response time in ms, middle response
  • Median response time in ms, large response

Each also comes with an accompanying graph for those wanting a quick glance version of the results.

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hiphop virtualmachine vm hhvm symfony2 benchmark results

Link: http://blog.liip.ch/archive/2013/10/29/hhvm-and-symfony2.html


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